- Natural large-scale and long-term change in the Earth's climatic system, as brought about by ice ages.
- Large-scale and long-term change in the Earth's climatic system produced by global warming; anthropogenic climate change.
2013 September-October, Michael Sivak, “Will AC Put a Chill on the Global Energy Supply?”, in American Scientist:
- Nevertheless, it is clear that the global energy demand for air-conditioning will grow substantially as nations become more affluent, with the consequences of climate change potentially accelerating the demand.
May be treated (in the sense “anthropogenic climate change”) as a synonym of global warming in informal contexts, particularly in regions where climate science is contested by political actors. This conflation is not widespread in scientific contexts, where it may be regarded as incorrect.